With the extravaganza of the World Cup upon us many of us are spending hours glued to our phones, TVs or ipads. I’m sure you are aware/have felt, that staying in the one position for long periods can often exacerbate your neck or back pain. As much as we love watching our Aussies and world-class football, we also need to be smart about our posture!
Easy posture changes/switches:
At home sitting on the soft couch, instead try:
- Sitting on a firm backed chair such as a dining table chair or office chair. You may also like to use a lumbar roll or small cushion to support your lower back.
- If sitting for long periods on any chair aggravates your back, you could try lying on your stomach propped up on your elbows or intermittent standing.
Standing in a pub/bar/friends house, try:
- Maintain good posture with even weight between your left and right feet.
- If you find yourself standing in a position when you are not square to the TV or if you are constantly turning your head to one side to talk to your friends. Change sides or positions mid-way through the game to ensure a varied posture.
Sitting on a stool:
- As with sitting on a couch, try to sit on a chair with back support if possible. Otherwise, try to find a position when you have both feet resting on the ground or on the footrest of the stool and maintain a straight back.
Watching in bed with a pillow under your head:
- Lying in bed is probably the worst of the above positions to watch the football so trying some of the above positions.
- If you insist on staying in your warm bed, try to maintain a straight lower back by propping yourself upright with a number of pillows. Make sure your neck and lower back are supported. Also try to change from this position at least 1-2 times during the game.
Watching on phone/ipads/laptops while commuting to/from work:
- Try to have your device at eye level if possible, not on your lap, to avoid excessive neck flexion.
- Maintain good lower back posture by sitting in an upright position, ideally with a support such as a cushion, jumper of lumbar roll.
- Change neck position and look up from the screen every 5-10 minutes.
In addition to the above posture changes you should also incorporate some basic exercises if you have a history of neck or back pain.
o Chin retractions – sitting upright and gently pull your chin backward creating a double chin, try to keep your chin level. Repeat 5-10 times.
o Lateral flexion neck stretches – gently stretch your neck to the side, ear to shoulder. Hold 30 seconds on each side.
o Lower back extensions – in standing lean backwards to extend your lower back or if lying on your stomach have your hands at shoulder height and push-up keeping your hips on the ground. Repeat 10 times.
o Pelvic tilits – rock your hips back and forth.
o Sitting thoracic rotations – keeping your hips still rotate your upper body left then right 10 times.
o Any other specific exercises given by your Physio.
Try to do a few of the above exercises every time there is a goal, yellow card, penalty kick or at half time
If you are watching an Australia game stand up and celebrate when Australia scores or if Matt Ryan saves a goal!
If you are experiencing any neck or back pain from poor sitting posture or if you attempted a Cristiano Ronaldo bicycle kick that went wrong, pop in for a consultation at Bend + Mend or send us an email. Happy World Cup watching and GO THE SOCCEROOS!